As a data-point, I once screwed up the bios on an ASUS P2H4 motherboard,
and tried to boot linux when all the system could still do was starting a
The boot worked succesfully until it had to really read something from the
IDE-harddisk. At that point it failed completely. I did some extra experiments
with forced geometries in lilo, but to no avail.
Still, I was already quite far into the boot, and I suspect that if the IDE
initialization could be done without the BIOS, it would in fact have worked.
(since it got a bit boring, a flashed a working BIOS again :-) )
-- Drive A: not responding. Formatting drive C: instead. .
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